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Coronavirus latest news: Pre-departure rapid testing facility launched at Heathrow - Telegraph.co.uk
A pre-departure rapid Covid-19 testing facility has been launched at Heathrow Airport.
Boris Johnson is preparing impose stringent new coronavirus controls on 2.8 million people in Greater Manchester after talks with local leaders failed to reach agreement. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warned civic chiefs last night that they have until midday on Tuesday to reach a deal or face unilateral Government action. The leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese said he still hoped it would be possible to find an agreed way forward in the hours remaining. However he acknowledged they would have no choice but to comply if ministers decided to impose the most stringent Tier 3 restrictions. "I am hoping that tomorrow (Tuesday) morning we will be able to sit down again with ministers and come to an agreement which will serve the best interests of the people of Manchester," he told BBC2's Newsnight. "Clearly if Government imposes Tier 3 - and I hope that won't happen - we will clearly need to comply with that." There was anger among some of those involved in the negotiations at what they said was the use of "selective statistics" by the Government to raise concern about the public health situation in the region. In a joint statement with Sir Richard, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham also complained that a previous offer of financial support had been withdrawn by ministers. Mr Jenrick, however, said that after 10 days of negotiations failed to reach an agreement, the deteriorating situation in the region meant the Government had no choice but to act. "There are now more Covid-19 patients in Greater Manchester hospitals than in the whole of the South West and South East combined," he said in a statement. "But, unfortunately, despite recognising the gravity of the situation, local leaders have been so far unwilling to take the action that is required to get this situation under control. "I have written to local leaders this evening to make clear that if we cannot reach agreement by midday tomorrow then I must advise the Prime Minister that despite our best endeavours we've been unable to reach agreement."
Working lunches in the pub could be exempt from lockdown restrictions - Telegraph.co.uk
Downing Street suggests meeting in a bar for 'work purposes' could be allowed, even in tier 2 and tier 3 areas
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of industry trade body UKHospitality, added: It is unclear, its a real grey area. The Government has given an exemption for business meetings up to 30 or meetings or gatherings that are deemed necessary for work purposes, but its provided no guidance on where those meetings can take place. "Were asking for urgent clarification because in central London, if the working lunch is gone, theres no trade. Businesses in London and other major city centres have been among the worst hit by the pandemic, as an increase in people working from home and dearth of tourist visitors causes sales to plunge. Many restaurants in the capital are heavily reliant on sales from business meetings, which are responsible for the majority of the lunchtime trade. Ranald MacDonald, managing director of Boisdale Group, which operates a string of restaurants in central London, warned that he will have to lay off staff and go from making a loss while trading to haemorrhaging money if he is prevented from accepting business bookings. He said: Most workplaces are unlikely to be as health and safety conscious as restaurants, certainly no more so. London is the business capital of Europe, business happens over lunch.
Exclusive: Britain bought PPE worth £320m from firms linked to Chinese regime - Telegraph.co.uk
Contract details from purchases at the height of the crisis earlier this year prompt calls from MPs to reduce reliance on Chinese suppliers
Benedict Rogers, an adviser to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, said: "This illustrates the absolutely urgent need to reduce our strategic dependency on China in certain critical sectors such as PPE, and diversify our supply chains more generally. "It is outrageous that the regime that gave us the pandemic, through its mendacity, irresponsibility, failure to alert the world in a timely manner, and its repression of the truth - by silencing whistleblowers - instead of repressing the virus at the very beginning, is now profiting from it. "We must learn to produce these vital products ourselves and in other markets so that we do not have to give this brutal regime, committing egregious human rights violations, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of business of this kind." The contracts were awarded despite increasingly strong rhetoric from the Government on China's human rights abuses.
Vaccine 'unlikely to eradicate Covid', Sir Patrick Vallance tells MPs - Telegraph.co.uk
Government’s chief scientific adviser believes disease likely to become endemic in Britain and will be more like annual flu
A vaccine is unlikely to eradicate coronavirus, with the disease instead likely to become endemic in Britain, Sir Patrick Vallance has warned. The Government's chief scientific adviser said the "notion of eliminating Covid is not right", adding that people would have to learn to live with the virus. Speaking at the joint committee on national security strategy, Sir Patrick said that even if a vaccine was available by the spring it would not wipe out the virus entirely. "I mean, it is worth reflecting that there's only one human disease that's been truly eradicated, and that's from the highly effective vaccine to smallpox, so it's a very difficult thing to do," he told MPs and peers. "We can't be certain, but I think it's unlikely we will end up with a truly sterilising vaccine, something that completely stops infection, and it's likely this disease will circulate and be endemic. "Clearly as management becomes better and you get vaccination, that would decrease the chance of infection and severity of disease, and this starts to look more like annual flu than anything else and that may be the direction we end up going. "Even with a vaccine, this is something were going to need to manage."
Markets rise as Chinese recovery continues – live updates - Telegraph.co.uk
The BBC’s Europe editor tweets:
Good morning. The brisk pace of Chinas economic recovery extended into the third quarter after avoiding the second wave of Covid cases threatening growth in Europe. Its GDP rose by 4.9pc year-on-year with industrial production and retail sales growth picking up again in September, official figures from Beijing revealed overnight. The FTSE 100 is set to rise at the open. 5 things to start your day 1) Act now to tackle impending skills crisis, CBI urges: The business group urged the Government to urgently act to retrain workers amid the threat of long-term high unemployment. 2) How Big Oils beasts risk being reduced to the role of dinosaurs: In a four-part series beginning today, The Telegraph will be exploring the future of Big Oil. 3) Instagram investigated for exposing childrens contact details: Facebook could face a huge privacy fine after Ireland's watchdog launched investigations into how Instagram exposed the contact details. 4) PM told to introduce UK-US travel corridor to help businesses: UKinbound and Avanti Destinations wrote to Boris Johnson urging him to replace quarantine with a testing system. 5) G4S steps up defence against opportunistic bid by Canadian rival: The security firm called GardaWorld opportunistic and very highly leveraged after it made a firm offer over the weekend. What happened overnight Shares advanced in Asia on Monday after China reported its economy grew at a 4.9pc annual pace in the last quarter, with consumer spending and industrial production rising to pre-pandemic levels. Japan's Nikkei 225 led the gains, adding more than 1pc by midday. China was the first country to suffer coronavirus outbreaks and the first to emerge from the pandemic and begin reopening its economy. After contracting 6.8pc in the first quarter of this year the economy grew 3.2pc in the April-June quarter. The 2.7pc quarterly expansion was weaker than expected. Still, the recovery of Asia's largest economy is good news for other countries that rely heavily on trade with China, including Japan. It reported Monday that its exports fell at a slower pace in September from a year earlier, partly thanks to higher demand from China. The Nikkei 225 index added 1.1pc to 23,672.60 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.8pc to 24,591.92. In South Korea, the Kospi jumped 0.9pc to 2,362.49 while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia surged 1pc to 6,237.60. The Shanghai Composite index logged a more modest gain, picking up 0.3pc to 3,346.61 as the relatively strong economic data doused the chances for major stimulus measures that might help boost markets. Coming up today Corporate: No FTSE 350 companies are due to report. Economics: Trade balance (Japan), GDP, industrial production, retail sales (China)
UK could get 40m Covid vaccine jabs by New Year as Pfizer begins roll-out - Telegraph.co.uk
Vaccine developed by pharma giant is undergoing clinical trials and British patients could be inoculated by start of 2021
Forty million coronavirus vaccines could be heading to the UK in the next two and a half months, it has emerged, after US multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer revealed it had started the manufacturing process. The pharmaceutical giant, which already has hundreds of thousands of doses ready at its Belgian production plant, is committed to delivering 100 million in 2020, of which 40 per cent are earmarked for Britain. The two-dose vaccine could potentially enable 20 million British patients to be inoculated before the New Year. However, rolling out such a vaccine to the public is subject to it being signed-off as safe and effective by regulators. The logistics of getting sufficient doses to the front line also pose a challenge. Ben Osborn, the UK boss of Pfizer, said: It's still to finish the clinical trials, it's still to go through the regulatory process, but we do have physical product there available should we be successful. He told the Mail on Sunday: We are already manufacturing the vaccine at risk and at scale. Mr Osborns comments come amid increasing optimism that the vaccine candidate designed by Oxford University, seen as one of the front-runners in the international race, could become available in the UK before Christmas. Professor Jonathan Van Tam, deputy chief medical officer, reportedly told MPs last week that the drug, manufactured by AstraZeneca, could be ready for a mass roll-out as early as December. According to the Sunday Times, he said: "We aren't light years away from it. It isn't a totally unrealistic suggestion that we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas." Traditional vaccines work by injecting a deactivated or weakened form of the pathogen into the body in order to train it to recognise and defeat the active virus. However, Both the Oxford and Pfizer vaccines seek to introduce into the body a genetic sequence that prompts human cells to churn out parts of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, so the body can learn to deal with it that way.
Increase in coronavirus infections means Christmas will be 'tough' this year, Sage member warns - The Telegraph
Professor Jeremy Farrar says the UK faces a 'very, very difficult' period in the next three to six months
Christmas will be tough and not the usual celebration a top Sage scientist has said, as he appeared to call on ministers to be honest with the public. Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said winter would be a very difficult period, with extra time indoors fuelling more infections and a vaccine unlikely to come online in time to make a significant difference. A leading member of the Governments Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, Sir Jeremy said ministers should have ordered a national temporary circuit breaker lockdown one month ago to have kept control of the outbreak. He told Sky News Sophie Ridge: The ONS (Office for National Statistics) survey, which is the best data in the country at the moment, shows that 27,000 people are getting this infection every day. But that was until the October 10. Today it will be over 50,000, just as the CMO (Englands chief medical officer) Chris Whitty and (the Governments chief scientific adviser) Sir Patrick Vallance suggested some three weeks ago. It would be at 50,000 new cases across the country every single day, and thats almost exactly where we are. Asked about Christmas, Prof Farrar said he does not believe a vaccine will be ready in time for the festive period. Sir Jeremy added: Christmas will be tough this year. I dont think its going to be the usual celebration it is, and all families coming together, Im afraid. I think we have to be honest and realistic and say that we are in for three to six months of a very, very difficult period. The temperatures drop, we are all indoors more often, we have the other infections that come this time of year. Its much better for us to be upfront and honest now, and say we are in for a really difficult time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Prof Farrar said a short national lockdown known as a circuit-breaker is needed to reduce transmission rates, as previously recommended by Sage in September. He said the best time to have introduced the temporary lockdown would have been around September 20, but added it was never too late. He said: The second best time to do this is now, and the worst time to do this is at the end of November when things would have really got considerably worse. So its never too late, its better to do it now than in a months time. In regard to a potential vaccine and effective treatments, Prof Farrar said he believes they are three to six months away.
Non-urgent surgeries cancelled in Nottingham as Covid-19 infections surge - Telegraph.co.uk
It is understood rising coronavirus rates in the community are putting pressure on NHS services
It is understood patients isolating for three days prior to surgery will have their operations postponed, but those isolating for at least a week can still go ahead. The new measures are expected to be reviewed after a week. A spokesperson for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said its hospitals continue to offer care for both Covid and non-Covid patients. We are facing a very serious situation here in Nottinghamshire. We have the highest levels of Covid-19 infection in the country, and as a result we have had to postpone some of our non-urgent activity, the spokesperson said. We wish to make it clear that our care for those in need of urgent cancer operations, or of other clinically urgent procedures, remains. We ask our communities to please follow the government guidance closely wash your hands, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Playing your part to control further transmission in our city and county will help to save lives. It comes as University Hospitals Birmingham announced they would turn away hundreds of patients who present at A&E if they are deemed as non-essential, as the hospital seeks to protect critical services amid rising infections. "If you are not in urgent need of help, you will be sent away, UHB said in a statement. The Nightingale Hospitals in Sunderland, Manchester and Harrogate were this week told to mobilise following an influx of Covid-19 admissions in the region.
Strictly Come Dancing 2020 celebrity line up: meet this year's contestants - The Telegraph
The new batch of amateur jivers features a boxer, a royal marine and a former Home Secretary
Age: 36 BBC Radio1 DJ Clara Amfo is best known for her 10am1pm show. Her credits as a television presenter include One World: Together at Home (BBC One), ITV2s coverage of The BRIT Awards and the BBCs coverage of Glastonbury Festival, Radio 1s Big Weekend, and The Proms. She is also the host of Sony Music and Spotify podcast This City, a part of the Bafta TV Awards presenting team and a recurrent presence on the judging panel for the Mercury Prize. She said: As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy, so to be taught by a pro and live a fantasy is something that I cant wait to fully embrace, see you on the dance floor! Ranvir Singh
Coronavirus latest news: Drones to carry Covid test kits between hospitals - Telegraph.co.uk
The UK should impose a two week circuit breaker to "get on top" of a rapid surge in new infections, according to the Government's testing tsar, and closing schools and universities may now be unavoidable.
The UK should impose a two week circuit breaker to "get on top" of a rapid surge in new infections, according to the Government's testing tsar, and closing schools and universities may now be unavoidable. Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, said that coronavirus "numbers are actually pretty eye watering in some parts of the country", and it will be almost impossible to bring transmission down by "biting around the edges". "I can see very little way of getting on top of this without some kind of a circuit breaker," he told BBC Radio Four this morning. Sir John added that closing schools and universities may now be a necessity. "I think there will be every effort to keep schools open, but just to paint the picture: there are universities in this country which have 50, 60, 70 per cent of their kids in quarantine. I mean oh my God. What kind of a university is that? This is not a good place to be. "So if in the end we have to take kids out for two weeks, calm it all down, and then start again, ideally embedded in a much more rigorous testing regime, than that's maybe what we will have to do," he said. His comments come after Britain's biggest teachers' union backed a circuit breaker and urged that secondary schools and colleges are closed for an extended two-week half-term. Calls for a two week circuit breaker have been gathering momentum all week, with experts suggesting it is the only way to reduce transmission and "buy time" to fix the UK's faltering test, trace and isolate system - which is having only a "marginal impact on transmission", according to Sage. Follow the latest updates below.